There are some things that are just worth paying for. Things that we don’t all have the time or skill to do ourselves, so it’s worth it to pay someone else to do it. Car maintenance is a pretty common in this category. Most people don’t have the skills and knowledge to diagnose and repair car issues. However, there are some basic car maintenance jobs and preventative measures that we can all learn to save money and avoid problems down the road.
Tips for Basic Car Maintenance
Whenever you bring your car in for service, take a moment to consider if the diagnosis is something you can repair yourself. Topping off fluids or replacing things like light bulbs, filters, wipers, or a battery can be fairly simple procedures. You’ll save money by buying the parts yourself and not paying for labor, and you’ll also learn a little about your car in the process.
Other basic car maintenance projects like oil changes and tire rotations can also be done at home, but may require some special tools and a little more knowledge. This is where we get into the discussion of cost vs. time. Would you rather take the time to do it yourself, or just pay someone to do it quickly?
An oil change at a garage will typically cost between $20 and $30. Remember that you will need to either elevate your vehicle or crawl under it to do this job, and the supplies will cost about $20 to do it yourself.
Doing a tire rotation at home will likely take much more time than at a garage with a lift and air-powered tools. A garage will charge somewhere between $15 and $25. Some places will even offer this service for free with other service.
So consider the cost vs. time as well as your competency. Above all you want to be safe, and you should not perform any maintenance on your car unless you feel confident that you can do it properly. You can find instructional articles and videos for basic car maintenance and repairs online. Take a look and see if you can do it.